tv Sex Slaves UK MSNBC December 1, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
great deal on a new subaru. we'll donate 250 dollars to a choice of charities that benefit your community. it feels good to be a helping hand. fall 2007. police forces across the united kingdom undertake the largest human trafficking investigation ever. >> strike, strike, strike. >> their target, brothels and those who supply them with women from around the world who are forced into sexual slavery. over the next few years, british police will build evidence against the human traffickers. >> this is diamonds and rings and gold. >> with the help of one young thai woman who was trafficked. >> the woman who brought me from
thailand said my price was $48,000. >> they will bust up an international human trafficking network. from the bottom right to the master minds at the very top. >> fantastic. bang on, chaps. that's what we're looking for. >> there's no doubt that people we are dealing with here are very shrewd and competent business people. >> its code name, operation contaminantor 2. >> it was amazing to see. because it shows a country making the decision to attack human trafficking at a system's level. hello. i'm natalie morales. the u.s. state department estimates that worldwide, over 12 million people are enslaved,
held against their will and forced to work for little or no pay, often in the sex industry. over the last few years, the msnbc undercover series, "sex slaves in america" has exposed human trafficking and the efforts to combat it here in the united states. in this program, we will go behind the scenes with british police and detectives, watch as they follow every lead, use every investigative tool to find and then convict the bad guys and yes, bad girls involved in this sordid trade that is human trafficking. in october 2007, the british government launched its crackdown involving dozens of local police forces across england, wales, scotland and northern ireland. it was a closely coordinated effort to tackle the growing industry in women illegally brought into the uk for sex, estimated to generate more than half a billion dollars a year.
100 miles left of london in cheltenham, police plan a series of busts for operation pentameter 2. >> we'll take one away which acts as a trigger for others. when we go for normal, we will go through all the others at the same time. we're expecting at least two girls at those premise. if those are victims -- >> alex drummond is leading the operation. >> we will afford them the victim status and treat them as victims as long as they cooperate. okay. >> to build a strong case, police are hoping to find victims, customers, and the managers when they come through
the doors, a tall order. detective andy lee will act as the eyes and ears on the ground. it's up to lee to choose the best moment to launch the operation. >> the subject premises is just down the right. okay? >> lee will covertly be watching the properties from an undercover surveillance post. -- have we got channel 53 up? >> they're at the race courses. >> phone sig? and please open line. four in position.
>> four, one, and two in position. >> you ready? stand by them. >> someone is outside the terrace. >> with the equipment and the police in position, detective lee spots a customer, or as they say in britain, a punter leaving the brothel. >> okay. as they go past each other, the chinese girl speaks to this guy. she goes back to the house. >> right. >> if we don't move soon, the punters may well disappear. >> well, let's go. we're ready to go now. call for a strike then. let's go all four teams. it's a strike, strike, strike.
it's a strike, strike, strike. >> mobile, strike, strike, strike, please. >> go, go, go. >> empty. >> police! >> empty. >> police! put your hands together. hands together! stay where you are. more people, please. stay where you are. no, no, no, no, no. hands, hands, hands, hands! >> open the door. >> open the door. open the door. >> get yourself dressed. >> police officer. >> at least one punter possibly involved inside. >> op-1. >> just confirmed there's one customer and one girl on the premises.
>> yep, as noted. >> okay. okay. i'll just stand there. >> confirm. >> the women found in the brothels are offered refuge but there's no sign of the criminals who are running the brothels. coming up, a chance encounter leads to a big break. >> i'm not happy with your stories based upon evidence i have, i'm arresting you both on suspicion of the management of a brothel. you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say? how about - every day? coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at asthma.com,
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sex slaves into the country from eastern europe and asia. the raids on brothels in the town of cheltenham resulted in a roundup of trafficked women and customers, but none of the brothel's managers. with little luck fining the people who are running the brothels, detective andy lee is about to head back to the police station. >> if there is any relevance here, a woman just walked past with a gentleman, stopped here, and then went along just behind this bus and was making a call, a chinese lady according to the cameraman. >> a member of the camera crew has spotted a couple acting suspiciously, and shares it with detective lee. >> whereabouts are they now? >> are they past the bus now. >> just behind the bus. >> there. they're walking along there, those two. >> hang on. >> go, go, go, get 'em, get 'em, get 'em, get 'em.
>> hello, stop. you all right? >> yes. >> sorry. my name is andy lee. i'm a police officer. are you from shelt ten ham. >> no. >> whereabouts are you from? >> marsden marsh. >> all right. okay. what about yourself, ma'am? >> this is my husband. >> oh, is it? >> yeah. >> okay. >> detective lee recognizes the couple from surveillance footage. he thinks they could be managers of one of the brothels. do you know anything on this street? >> no. can i ask what you're doing here? have you got a car nearby? >> yes, the car park. >> you parked up there? >> which shops have you been to today? >> this one. >> do what? it's just a pie.
>> all right. i tell you what i see now. step over this way. my name is andrew lee. i'm a defensive constable from cheltenham station. >> yes. >> i'm not happy with your stories. >> yeah. >> based upon evidence i have, i'm arresting you both on suspicion of the management of a brothel. you don't have to say -- if you are question, something you would like to relay in court, anything you do say may be given evidence. so at the moment of time, you're both under arrest on suspicion of managing a brothel. you've been cautioned. that caution applies. >> i got to police? >> yeah, you are under arrest. >> why? >> because i have explained. >> i'll carry that, i'll carry that. all right. slow down. slow down. >> no problem. >> i'm not. i'm not.
take a seat in there. sit down. >> i suspect she is possibly the brothel manager. >> we've already got photographs, possible photographs of her. >> while the police find nothing linking the woman's husband to the brothel, they detain the woman for further questioning. under british law, she can be held for 24 hours without charge. with no time to lose, the police sift through a mountain of documents to build their case against her. >> where are we? is she just a madam that has been running that? >> during her interview sin fang chang claimed she was unemployed. but a examination is of her bank
account tells a different story? >> december 2005, 10,000 cash paid in at in morton. >> on like a weekly basis the beginning of last year. you saw 300, 400 pounds. and. >> one week, two weeks, over the last 18 months or so there is probably something in the region of over 100,000 pounds gone through that account, which isn't bad for a lady that is unemployed. as we suspected, the warrants and the evidence that has been thrown up from the searches is giving us a much wider portfolio of crime. we're looking at moneylaundering. we're looking at the turnover that they have put through these accounts. so if we just charge it now and deal with the brothel as we said yesterday, that will all disappear, we'll never see it again and they'll set up somewhere else. if we're going to stop them and
hurt them hard, then we have to take their assets off them. >> the large sums changing hands suggest to superintendent drummond and his team that chung could be managing more than just one brothel. she might be one with of the big fish they've been looking to catch. >> she is probably involved in the management chain quite clearly. >> yeah. she could be perhaps in the position whereby she's the manager of a number of outlets. >> there's a suggestion she moves around, isn't there? >> yeah. she could be a regional manager. >> regional manager. absolutely. >> selling human beings can be easier, and it's definitely more profitable than selling drugs. if i had 100 pound of drugs in this room with me right now, i would have had to procure it. i would have to hide it. and then when i sold it all, i would have to replace it, over and over and over again. and that is a guaranteed strong sentence against me because of our drug laws. if i have a 100-pound slave in
this room and i'm good at what i do and i terrorize her enough not to come forward, you will never know. and i get to resell that person over and over again. >> coming up, a young woman trafficked out of thailand agrees not only to talk, but name names. >> translator: a woman brought me here. i didn't know i was going to be sold. she took the money and gave the buyer my passport.
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following a series of raids on brothels across the country, british police are moving on to the next stage of their operation. they are seeking to identify and arrest the higher-ups who are trafficking women from asia and eastern europe to work in british brothels. many of the victims removed from the brothels had been too frightened to talk. however, in devon in southwestern england, one woman who we will call lily has been brave enough to come forward. she was part of a massive international trafficking network that stretches around
the world. one of those working hard on lily's case is sergeant ian tomlinson of the devon and cornwall police force. >> she entered into a contract in thailand some weeks previously. her family had paid 10,000 pounds for her to come over to she thought it was ireland she was going to to work initially in the restaurant trade. but the victim told us she was flown by abu dhabi into dublin and from dublin by train to belfast and from belfast, a quick hop over to england. >> translator: a woman brought me here. i didn't know i was going to be sold. she took the money and gave the buyer my passport. they said i had a debt and that i had to work to pay it off. >> lily, who came from thailand, told police that the international human trafficking
network illegally brought her and other women to brothels across the united kingdom. the first people identified by lily are a mother and daughter team. they were managing a brothel in plymouth, where lily was forced to work. police follow up lily's lead. >> it's a lady by the name of mi-tieng wan, a malaysian lady we have already interviewed, and as i say, over the plymouth brothel, and also her daughter called grace lim. they are running a small network of brothels and they are involved in trafficking young girls to staff these brothels, thereby facilitating their movement for the purposes of prostitution within the country. >> based on lily's detailed testimony, the two women are brought in for questioning. now sergeant tomlinson and detectives jones and clement go to the police station to make the arrests.
>> mary, if you can just -- let's get straight inside. >> you're going -- >> both of you. i'll talk to both of you. >> i'm arresting you now on suspicion of human trafficking and being involved in the management of a brothel. >> we searched their home address and found numerous documentary exhibits that link them to other agencies and to other brothels, and telephone numbers within the network around the uk. those pieces of paper and documentary exhibits will be put to them for comment during interview. in the case of grace lim, she has been shown a number of them already and has made comment about them in the negative, and since then, we have been able to show that she is actually responsible for producing those items. so she will be questioned further.
>> lily tells the police that she was held against her will in their brothel, and terrorized by the mother/daughter team into having sex with men. >> translator: they refused to give my passport back. the trafficker said that if i tried to escape, or told the police or the thai embassy, they would come after me. they said my parents back in thailand would be in trouble. i couldn't cope with that. >> the victim was stating that she was held there against her will and that she received no money. she was having up to four to five clients a day and that meeting one was taken the money. she was told she had to do everything the client said and if the client complained, she would become very aggressive with her. >> the police now believe the
daughter, 19-year-old grace lim, is just as deeply involved in the trafficking network as her mother. >> i think she's equally as culpable as her mother. >> yeah. >> she's very wise for her years. >> yeah. >> and she's made efforts to try and encourage other people involved in the network to tell lies to help her mom out while her mom has been remanded in custody. we have evidence of text messages sent asking people to become witnesses to try and help prove her mother's account. the good thing was that she commented on some things that she was obviously comfortable with so when she was asked, for example, about her bank account, she was quite happy to sit there and say i've got a bank account, there's no money in it, feel free to have a look. but when you ask her questions in relation to the trafficking, and the management of the brothel, she closes right down. >> the crown prosecution service or cps which will prosecute the case has approved the evidence offered by sergeant tomlinson and his team. they agree that there's a strong case against the two women.
the police are now in a position to press serious charges. >> grace lim will be charged with the management of the brothel at taunton and wong will be charged with two further trafficking offenses. wong is liable as a principle of the worst sort of slave exploitation offense. i feel quite strong about it. >> coming up -- police identify another person of interest involved in trafficking lilly. >> as far as trafficking is concerned, he is as bad as they get. [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices that connect us and teach us.
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and freezing rain is being blamed for a 65-car pileup that closed down interstate 290 in massachusetts today. about three dozen people were taken to local hospitals. back to msnbc undercover. the police from devon and cornwall are eager to apprehend all the criminals responsible for trafficking the thai victim lilly. officers ian tomlinson and rob clement are now conversed this man not only trafficked lilly, but also many, many other women. >> the information we have is tu specifically ordered our victim, identified her and wanted her in particular to be brought over from thailand. >> as with many of the suspects in this human trafficking investigation, police have had a
hard time finding him. he has always managed to stay one step ahead. but now they're in london armed with a dozen possible addresses linked to him. >> it's not easy to stay on the run for an indefinite amount of time. we've circulated with him, so if he comes to notice of the police or trying to leave the country on those details, that he will be stopped and arrested. >> sergeant tomlinson gets a call from a colleague that supplies a promising new lead. >> hello, andy. >> first of all, obviously, we've heard from jay. but there is a new telephone number, or an active one for tu. he's also known to have had it within the last three weeks. >> deep joy. all right, mate. super. i will give you a call later on. cheers. that's interesting because of the inquiries we have turned up from the address today.
it appears that we have a new phone for tuu that was active up to three weeks ago. so we are going to get that subscribed now. to find out if there is a registered people for the phone that may take us back it an address. i'm going to give kevin at the sio a ring and see if he wants us to give the direct approach and ring tuu up and say hello, we would like to speak to you. the question i need to ask is, in all likelihood, he is going to find out very shortly we've got that number. at which time if he flees in the thames or in the bend, we're no further forward. the other option is for me to ring him up and see if he wants to come in. i think, yeah, he will. i really do think that he will bing that number the moment he finds out. okay.
we'll give him a call. all right. okay. cheers and bye. hello, that tuu? hi, is mr. gomart, this is dse tomlinson. i need to speak to you, please, over some matters. i would like to meet you as soon as possible, please, if that's all right. do you know where the serpentine is at hyde park? yeah. i'll go there and i'll find somewhere suitable where we can have a chat. all right. cheerio, then. bye-bye. bye. well, well, there you go. he says he is going to meet us in hyde park. so we need to -- he assures me that he will be here, but he might have just bought himself an hour's thinking time, really.
he could be en route to buy himself a false passport, en route of the country. but we will just come in here for a second mate. just come in here somewhere identifiable. that's where i've been before, car park, down by that lake. right. okay. >> hello? >> hello, mr. gomart? >> yes. hello, tomlinson again. i said i would ring you back with a better location in hyde park. >> when i go there, i call you again. and you can come to pick me up or something. >> okay. are you traveling by car or on foot? >> no, because i don't have a car. >> oh, you don't have a car. i do apologize. >> no, no, no, no car at all. >> right. i can pick you up at a tube station if that's any good. >> okay, yeah. when i go to the tube station somewhere, yeah and then i call you and you come to pick me up. >> yes, no problem.
>> okay? >> the police have said a trap for gomart and are hoping their low-key approach will lure him in. if he does show up, they feel they feel they have more than enough evidence to convict him. >> it is frustrating. he's just rung me. he rung me, he is at the tube station. he said he is going to cross the road and go and meet us outside the marriott now. yeah? happy with that? right. good. let's go.
>> it's been four hours since the police first spoke with gomart. it's looking like he's a no-show. then, suddenly, -- >> now then, you're a difficult man to find. >> why? why? >> what you need to understand is, as you know, we've been looking for you for a long time and we know a lot about you. so we will know when you are telling us the truth and when you aren't, okay. >> i'm a good person. and i can't help, i try to help everyone. >> okay. >> gomart's willingness to meet with police speaks to an important problem with law enforcement and human trafficking.
>> regardless of his criminal activities, you would think he would least be concerned about his immigration status. but the fact that he actually showed up i think shows the degree to which traffickers, human traffickers, still operate with total impunity in our society. >> they don't feel that they are going to get in trouble for this. when you feel that you are not going to get in trouble, you're not going to hide it. >> coming up, operation pentameter 2 nets its biggest fish yet. >> in here, in here! no one could have left this much money here. whoo-hoo-hoo! yet many seniors who compare medicare d plans realize they can save hundreds of dollars. cvs/pharmacy wants to help you save on medicare expenses. talk to your cvs pharmacist, call, or go to cvs.com/compare to get your free, personalized plan comparison today. call, go online, or visit your local store today.
woman named alias bar. she is accused of buying women in slave markets and selling them to british hostels, and one of her purchases may have been lilly. >> the name bar has been floating around in the air for quite a while now. so ever since i so much recovered. it would be nice to put a face to the name. >> after several unsuccessful raids to find bar, this address seems promising. all hopes rest on this newest lead as to her whereabouts. >> police! in here, in here. stand still. there has been a warrant. what's your name? what is your name?
sorry? >> just relax. >> you check the bed? >> hello, there. my name is tomlinson. i'm a detective from cornwall. down quite a long way away from here. but we have some questions we may need to ask you about this premises. and about your status in the country. okay. at this moment then i would say to you that you don't have to say anything but it may harm your defense, if you don't answer one question, anything you do say may be given in evidence. okay? fantastic. bang on, chaps. that's what we're looking for. yeah, superb. superb. all right, thanks, chaps.
>> the way she behaved in the premises when officers went in there, she was desperately trying to get to a telephone, to either alert someone or delete information within it. yeah. i think we've got our girl. i'm surprised at how we've managed to unravel it. let me put it that way. because it is frustrated by the fact that everybody seems to have about four different names. >> with most of lilly's uk traffickers under arrest, one piece of the puzzle remained. to find that answer detectives fly thousands of miles to bangkok. >> we managed to break up the uk network and assist the thai police in breaking up the thai network in bangkok. >> since safely returning to thailand, lilly has been helping
the royal thai police break up the thai network that trafficked her, including identifying the woman who first sold lilly into slavery, jae ju. devon and cornwall police meet their thai counterparts at the women's and children's division known as cwd and learn something terrifying. >> the victim came and reported someone similar to jae ju's description was threatening her. so the cwd officers, they got an immediate orders to go to the hometown in that area and contact the local police and have them work on finding out where jae ju was. and when a picture of jae ju was brought to the victim, the victim affirmed that was jae ju. >> if convicted, what are the offenders in the thai case, what sentences are they likely to
receive? >> right now it's in court proceedings. and if she is found guilty of forcing someone or deceiving someone into prostitution, then she is looking at about 20 years. >> reporter: ra -- >> jae ju visited japan and australia and america. then it would -- it's almost certain that they traffic girls into their other countries. so it's a truly global enterprise that those females are involved in. so i think ourselves and the thai police played a significant
role in preventing further victims. >> in the u.s., we have both u.s. citizens and foreign nationals as victims of human trafficking. the trade routes into the u.s. are varied. we have worked with clients from the middle east, southeast asia, mexico, central america, southern africa, west africa, who are involved in both labor trafficking and sex trafficking. >> i think i was always fairly confident that we would be relatively successful in relation to the offenders in the uk. but to think now that by cooperation with the thai police we've got the offenders, the real organizers here in thailand, they've got them locked up as well. and they're looking at significant sentences if convicted. i know i never thought we would never get this far. >> the police now have successfully pieced together the puzzle of many of those involved in trafficking lilly.
>> we've got the whole network here, really, from the managers of the brothel here to the people facilitating transport. we've got the buyers. we've got the traffickers from thailand as well, and somebody who sorted out the proceeds and moneylaundering as well. >> in order to secure convictions in britain for all of those involved in lilly's case, it's essential she positively identifies her traffickers. for her own safety, lilly is now in the witness protection program in thailand. but in an incredible act of bravery, she agrees to return to the uk to help identify and convict her traffickers. >> it's a big day. it's a big chunk of evidence, the identification evidence. >> so as not to be acued of influencing lilly, the officers can't be present at the identification session.
>> anything you want, just give us a call. >> the first procedure is for gomart, where the victim will be shown a series of images and asked to identify the person she knows as tuu. hopefully she'll pick out gomart. if she doesn't, it could cause us problems. it's an important one, the first one. it will set the tone for the whole of this week. >> gomart is the man they believe is responsible for delivering lilly to various brothels around the country. >> we put an awful lot of work into finding him. it was lot of inquiries made. so track him down. and we were quite pleased when we finally did. so it would be good there to get that identification.
>> if lilly doesn't positively id gomart, the team won't have enough evidence to convict him, and will have no choice but to see him walk free. >> speak to you privately rather than the canteen? >> yeah. >> she has positively and clearly identified gomart, when i asked what did he do, he drove the girls around. >> good. couldn't ask better than that. that's excellent. >> lilly is shown photographs of all her traffickers and positively identifies each member of the gang. and now almost a year out from her ordeal, she has also given the police a much fuller view of what actually happened to her. coming up, operation pentameter 2 starts to wind down as lilly opens up. >> she told us she had been
drowned in a bath of water when she told one madam from a brothel that she wanted to leave. what would you do?" ♪ [ woman ] i'd be a writer. [ man ] i'd be a baker. [ woman ] i wanna be a pie maker. [ man ] i wanna be a pilot. [ woman ] i'd be an architect. what if i told you someone could pay you and what if that person were you? ♪ when you think about it, isn't that what retirement should be, paying ourselves to do what we love? ♪
devon and cornwall's investigation into the trafficking of lilly has proved to be one of operation pentameter 2's most successful cases. and one that allowed the police to gain insight into how this shameful industry works. >> it seems it was pretty much like a cattle market. she is taken to an address there is a number of people present, male and female and tried to open up to anybody who wants to buy this girl. bar puts her hand up. i'll buy her, $30,03 30,000 and deal zun. >> she was only in the country for over three weeks until she was rescued. >> although it seems a relatively short space of time, you have to take into account the strain of it.
and on each of those days in three to four weeks she has been forced to have sex with ten to 15 men a day against her will. >> what lilly reveals next proves just how sophisticated this sex trafficking network is. >> whilst in time she was given a number of woman called was told if it didn't work out with bar, she could give this woman a ring and it would be a safe place for her to go and she would help her out. she rings the number and tuu picks up the phone. at which point he says i will get some money to you transferred by western union. so he sends her 150 pounds by western union to get a train ticket. which she does thinking she is going to a place of safety. but on arrival there, she is told that she is going to plymouth to work for malaysian madam. and the best way she can put over to it is i came from the
claws of the tyinger into the mouth of the crocodile. >> translator: i couldn't bear it any longer. they lied and took advantage of me. they said you're in this country illegally, so you have no choice. you have to do what she tells you. >> it's almost worse what gomart has done. having escaped, gomart has taken advantage of that and forced her back into prostitution to make money for himself. >> during her three week as a sex slave, lilly was subjected to both physical and mental abuse. not only at the hands of her captors, but also from the customers. >> she has told us that her head has been held under, she has been drowned in a bath of water when she told one madam from a brothel that she wanted to leave.
one of her customers insisted on putting bits of metal inside a condom which caused her internal injuries and bleeding, afterwards also being hit by a belt with a leather belt by certain customers. >> i think one of the reasons we are reluctant to criminalize the pool of buyers and were reluctant to name who they are, they have these fantastically anonymous title. they're punters in the uk. they are johns in america. these are people in our communities who are creating this demand for these traffickers. >> this is one victim. but she was raped, held unlawfully against her will, and it isn't just that one victim, it's other victims. and you'll find brothels and victims in every town in england and wales. >> and the supply of human trafficking victims is only expanding. >> according to the u.s. state department, the global recession over the last two years has
exploded the number of slaves in the world today. exploded the number of people that are trafficked. many of these people want to move from point a to point b. but what they don't sign up for is the rank exploitation, the abuse, the rape, the violence, the slavery that happens at point b. >> freeze! >> police, stay where you are. >> when it was all over, operation pentameter 2 became the biggest crackdown against international sex trafficking in british history. >> your hands, please. >> in all, british police rescued 164 victims and arrested 406 suspects. 67 people were charged with trafficking in human beings. operation pentameter 2 also supplied a successful template for stopping prostitution. >> in pentameter 2, may were able to engage all police offices nationwide. that's not something we can do here in america with the ease that they did.
however, you do see in the u.s. the fbi making multijurisdictional approaches to combatting sex trafficking. >> for me, i think the big issue now is what do we do post pentameter? if we just walk away and leave it, then we're going to be needing another pentameter 3 in a few years time. because there is no doubt that the people that we're dealing with here are very shrewd and very competent business people.
>> since the end of operation pentameter 2, there have been no other coordinated national operations in britain to combat sex trafficking. all the police officers featured in this program returned to their normal duties. meanwhile, the multibillion human trafficking business continues to thrive both in britain and around the world. human rights advocates charge that law enforcement doesn't do enough either in america or in other countries to fight it. operation pentameter 2 and its success is more the exception than the rule. for msnbc, i'm natalie morales. thanks for watching.
on the streets of chicago and all across america, the business of sex for sell is booming, fueled by the internet. >> this is not a problem that just happens in another country. >> we have girls come from texas, from minnesota, girls come from iowa. >> so what am i going to be arrested under for? >> prostitution. >> in a world where girls and young women take all the risk, pimps and traffickers keep all the cash. >> it's not physical bondage. it's mental bondage. this is what traffickers and pimps and predators do. >> tonight msnbc goes undercover with the cook county human trafficking task force. >> get them out of here, quick. >> as they battle the